Touch My Bum; This Is Life
Imagine a song with virtually no melody--only a throbbing, hypnotic beat. Now imagine that its lyrics, chanted over and over again with the manic intensity of a Gregorian monk after fifteen cups of cappuccino, consist of the immortal words, "We are the cheeky girls. You are the cheeky boys. Touch my bum. This is life." Now imagine that the music video was directed by an autistic savant who has spent three solid years with his eyes taped open in front of a TV set playing nothing but Japanese commercials.
You have now succeeded in imagining the #2 hit in the UK.
Oh, and did I mention that it's sung by a pair of 20-year-old identical twins? And that they're from Transylvania? And that the song was written for them by their mother?
We first encountered this modern masterwork while visiting our friends Jennie and Eric on New Year's Day. They made reference to it, and attempted to describe it to us, but mere words seemed unable convey its cheeky, bum-touching, hypnotic majesty.
Jennie and Eric couldn't believe that we hadn't seen the song, since it has evidentally been receiving near-constant airplay since it burst into the consciousness of an unsuspecting British public.
I, in turn, found it hard to believe that such an epilepsy-inducing amalgamation of sound and video could exist, let alone conquer a nation that produced Gilbert & Sullivan and the Beatles. I challenged them to prove it. "If it's getting that much airplay," I said, "just turn on the TV, and it's guaranteed to be on."
Eric called my bluff. He stood up, switched on the TV, flicked through a couple of channels, and the Cheeky Song shimmered into vibrant, hot-pants-wearing glory. It was just as horrific as I had imagined. The Cheeky Girls themselves looked anorexic, the song was mind-numbing, and the flashing lights and quick cuts of the video reeked of impending migraines. When it was over, there was only one thing I could possibly say.
"How can I see it again?"
As any reader of horror stories knows, the more foolish and self-destructive a wish is, the more gleefully fate will grant it. Later that evening, we borrowed a videotape from Jennie and Eric that was supposed to contain a recent episode of West Wing. Due to an error in setting their VCR, they had recorded over the first two minutes of the episode with whatever happened to be on at the time. This slice of television, recorded entirely at random, consisted of the Cheeky Song video in its entirety.
Lauren and I had no choice. The fates were against us. We took it home and watched it repeatedly.
(Note: Those of you who dare submit yourselves to whatever strange mind-control cult has fabricated this thing can find it at the official Cheeky website. But don't say I didn't warn you.)